Creative Memory Fiction

Jo-Ann and I went to the Brooklyn Museum for Target First Saturday. There we met staff members issuing cards to random museum goers for the artistic purpose of exchanging memories. Each card asked for a cardholder’s name, title of a memory, its date, and details of the memory to relay to a perfect stranger. We decided to make sure someone left with a deeply disturbing memory. For the name we quickly agreed to be ambiguous, and use the overlapping characters of our first name: Jo. Then we started brainstorming ideas. The first few ideas all sounded too contrived. Jo-Ann was all about someone being naked or embarrassed. She mentioned a retainer in one of her ideas. I wanted to describe an experience worthy of a Post Secret entry, something that makes you wonder if people like this truly exist. Like a post that virally re-blogs on Tumblr because it sounds cool, and reminds young people of the depressing life they’d like to live despite their middle upper class upbringing.

We agreed Jo would do something terrible on their seventeenth birthday. A party was supposed to be involved, and the notion of drugs became a driving plotline. Trying to include most of those themes muddied our final product. Neither of us was as happy with the card we turned in, as the story we’d hoped to deliver.

The following is, in essence, the story we agreed upon:

My upper plastic retainer dislodged one evening. I meant to wash and re-apply it in the restroom. Upon opening the cabinet to retrieve the disinfectant, I found my twin sister’s retainer already soaking. Already lazy, I switched them in my curious state. To my initial disgust, my senses revealed her retainers had actually been soaking in water, grossly swimming in a Petri dish of her saliva. To my immediate surprise, I enjoyed her taste so much that I have intermittently switched our retainers ever since. Hopefully neither of our overbites ever recovers and I can continue drinking her.

We received and traded two stories in return, both of which were terribly bland. One was an interpretation of a painting at the museum, the other was nonsensically happy.


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